Your practice deserves to thrive. As a dedicated hearing professional offering life-changing services, there’s no reason it shouldn’t — especially given the incredible number of people in need of your help. Nevertheless, many worthy practices aren’t thriving because people simply don’t know about them.
In the digital age, a business listing isn’t enough — no matter where it is. To effectively attract a steady stream of new inquiries, your practice needs to reach a wide local audience and tell them about the results your patients enjoy.
Many options exist for marketing your practice, from physical mailers to Facebook ads, but they don’t all deliver the same results. And they definitely won’t work on the same timeline. Online marketing has set the bar for what constitutes a successful marketing campaign, as it’s become easier than ever to reach your target market at lightning speeds.
If you’ve been hesitant to use online marketing for your practice, consider the factors below that make it the most efficient return on your marketing dollars.
The low overhead of doing business online accounts for the many inexpensive marketing routes it provides. No materials, printing, or stamps are needed. The high expense of billboards or television and radio ads don’t apply either. Often, online marketing doesn’t even require that any graphics are designed, making entry costs the lowest anywhere. The Internet is a versatile landscape for marketers, and a little can go a long way.
Consider Facebook ads. Often, they’re just a single, relevant image, with the important information in the text above and below. In fact, images that are “too designed,” with excessive text or graphics added to them often don’t get approved or widely distributed, as they’re deemed “too promotional” for Facebook’s community brand. Facebook ads can be a low-cost entry point for online marketing, getting you results from small and large investments alike.
Despite the greater range of options and affordable pricing with online marketing, the old adage of “you get what you pay for” still applies — mostly. With a limited marketing budget, you actually can reach a wide audience to share your message with, but you will need to use some marketing savvy to get the most out of your dollars. Precise targeting and an enticing, succinct message are often the winning combo for marketing in general, which is even truer when using the lowest-cost marketing routes on the Internet.
Speaking of targeting, it’s worth noting that the Internet enables you to hone in on your exact market (or ideal patient base) in ways traditional marketing could never imagine. This is mainly because online behavior is highly tracked and thoroughly evaluated for this very purpose.
The leaders of tracking online user behavior are the social media giants (think Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on), which have access to an incredible array of details about their users that marketers can select when targeting their audiences for ad campaigns. This precise targeting online means you could create an ad for Facebook, for example, and have it show up in the feed of people who have liked Oticon’s Facebook page, among any other data you prefer. The options are nearly endless.
Even better is targeting the keywords used in online searches, allowing you to get your practice in front of the very people looking for information or services related to hearing care. Most digital ads operate on a “pay-per-click” basis, letting you avoid wasting money on an improperly targeted audience or an ad that doesn’t attract people’s’ attention.
The extensive tracking capacities available with digital marketing also yield more reliable ad campaigns in general. By being able to track the number of engagements on your marketing efforts (i.e. ad clicks, email opens, social media post likes, etc), you can get a nearly instant picture of whether your ad needs any tweaking or not.
Traditional marketing routes could never provide such rich data about how your ads were performing. Knowing the number of people who actually read your mailers or saw your print ad simply isn’t possible, ultimately making those ads an expensive game of guesswork.
Online marketing affords you the benefit of being able to test out various approaches for your ads, and not worry about wasting your money since you only pay for the engagements you actually get. The result? Cost-effective ads that are tailored to your market’s demonstrated preferences, creating more reliable conversions over time.
The Internet is often described as the “new wild wild West.” It’s the ever-expanding horizon, unlimited by space or material. And for marketers, the saturation point for any given market is far from being met. There are simply too many people online to worry about over-marketing to any of them.
One of the key benefits this endless terrain offers is a multi-faceted landscape for building your brand. Your practice doesn’t have to remain contained to a single website online. It can have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Google business listing, a Yelp profile, and so on.
Building a brand is all about exposure. So having your logo, business name, and any other eye-catching information about your business in more than one place is ideal. It means more eyes passing by it and more potential patients remembering it when they happen to need your services.
Ironically, the wide open digital world offers more connection than ever before. Sure, it can be a different kind of connection (no handshakes here), but still provides an opportunity to get to know people anywhere, anytime. This becomes hugely beneficial for marketing your practice.
Online interactions, be it through simple comments on a Twitter post or a submission on your website’s contact form, allow for an increased number of conversations to happen with potential patients. These interactions are efficient and important. The way you reply to comment on a post or a simple email inquiry speaks volumes about you as a practitioner. When those replies are public (i.e. not emails), they send a message to the person you’re engaging with and everyone else who passes by the exchange and reads it.
Consider online reviews. When you respond to a review about your services, you’re taking advantage of an opportunity to reveal your professionalism and personability to anyone else who reads through those reviews. Onlookers get to know you simply by having access to what would have likely been, in previous times, a private exchange.
Online marketing offers an entire world of possibilities never before seen in traditional marketing. With its cost-effectiveness, precision, reliability, expansive breadth, and unique opportunity for connecting with many potential patients at once, it’s easy to see how going digital with your marketing can show you the fastest return on your investment.
If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level with digital marketing, feel free to reach out to us to learn more about our tools designed to get you there.